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##A collaborative project by Team Practical Projects

##What is the Pill Reminder?

As a person ages, we all know, it becomes more difficult to remember to take your pills. At some point a person is capable of living independently, but may not remember the current day of the week, or even what time of day. This can lead to a person taking more pills than they should, or to skipping a set of pills. The Pill Reminder is meant to be used by a person in this situation.

The assembled Pill Reminder project has 14 pill cups; one for AM and one for PM, all seven days of the week. Each pill cup has an LED associated with it. The LEDs are controlled by an Arduino processor. Only one LED is ever lit at a time. The Arduino keeps track of date and time so that the correct LED is on between 6am and noon, and another between 6pm and midnight. Our hope is that the user can be easily trained to only take pills when one of the LEDs is lit up. The LED that is on will tell them which pill cup to empty; if that cup is already empty, then they should not take more pills.

The care giver is responsible for assuring the correct operation of the Pill Reminder and for loading the pill cups as appropriate.

##How do you buy a Pill Reminder?

You can't buy one. The Pill Reminder is a do-it-yourself project. All the information you need to buy the parts and assemble you own Pill Reminder can be downloaded from this site - and it's free for non-commercial use!

##The History

The Pill Reminder is a project that came about through a conversation at a Baby Boomer Makers meet-up held at the Mid Peninsula TechShop ( one cold winter evening in 2013. Bob Glicksman had the idea for the Pill Reminder and said he always wanted to make one, but he could not find the right case. Jim Schrempp had been looking for a project and said, “if you make two of the electronics I'll make two of the cases.” That night the collaboration was born.

Bob and Jim agreed to make the project and release the plans as an open source project freely licensed for non-commercial use. As a user of these open source plans you make make one, or several, for you own use but you cannot make them to sell. If you modify the plans or kits in some way you are obligated to publish your modifications and to also license your modified plans under the same terms. Your modified plans must contain attribution back to Bob Glicksman and Jim Schrempp.

Since we built this project, there have been a number of sophisticated smart phone apps released to help with medication compliance. They are not suitable for someone who doesn't actively use a smart phone. Some of them have surprisingly good features. Jim did some research and wrote an article on the criteria he used and ends with a recommendation of the best pill reminder app.

We hope you enjoy the project!
Jim Schrempp and Bob Glicksman
San Francisco Bay Area
February 2014

Here's a video of an early version of the Pill Reminder.

Tags: pill reminder, drug reminder, prescription reminder, free, open source